July 30, 2015

  Market Notes
  July 30, 2015

       Witches with Fingers and Flavor with Promise. Thompsons with Concords weird grapes are upon us.  Moon Drops and Gum Drops along with Red Flame.  Grapes have gone crazy but what’s in a name? Cotton with Candy in stock would be dandy.  But cases are few so that won’t be so handy. Retailers, wholesalers, distributors too.  We are all trying to get these for you.  We have Champagne, and the Red Flame, some Black Seedless too. But Cotton or Fingers , Drops Moon or from Gum, are hot as a Witches brew. Tell us you want these, we’ll try hard to get them. Advance notice required so our spies can detect them. Limited volume will send us to stores. Clearing their shelves we will ship and they’re yours.  Prices are high and  access is near zero. We’re not first in line but we want to be thorough. This season is short and the pickings are few. We’ll get what we can and that’s all we can do.  When the vine breaks, when the fruit makes, the best flavor true, we think of our clients all over the land and how they will get to you.

       Summer is a particularly productive time in the produce world.  It’s the time of the year when it seems like everything imaginable is available around the corner.   That happy thought may be true in some cases, but it isn’t universally so.  There are produce items which can be purchased locally or regionally.  But there are also items which are best purchased through Los Angeles Specialty Produce Market. The Market is chock full of product from all over the world right now.  However, when it comes to items such as Melons you can, with a little research, find small, local crops of Melon varieties which have proven to be particularly well suited for your regional growing seasons.  Specialty and heirloom varieties abide in these regional settings.   The dry and hot conditions in California may not be as well suited to this year’s Melon crop as the conditions experienced by your local growers.  Look around near you.  If, on the other hand, you are looking to source one of nature’s greatest summertime gifts, the Market has a variety of quality Figs that just can’t be duplicated by anything regional or local. These include Black Mission and Kadota Figs from the Northwest as well as Brown Turkey and King Figs.  King Figs are a particular favorite.  These green-skinned beauties are grown in the Northwest and are known for their short season, and complex flavor.   If you have any questions regarding which products are best purchased locally or through Markets, please, call your Culinary Rep.

       Although my young leaves can be eaten in fresh salads, I am a member of the daisy family and primarily used as a root vegetable, similar in shape to a carrot or a parsnip.  Not particularly popular in the United States, I have been known in Southern Europe for over two thousand years.  I was not cultivated until the 17th century and today Belgium is one of the leading producers of me.  My skin can be either black or brown, but my flesh is always cream-colored.  I am primarily a cold weather crop as my taste gets sweeter after the ground has been covered with frost.  My seed ball opens up every morning, works until noon, then closes up for the day.  Great work if you can get it.  Strangely enough my flavor has been compared to that of oysters, which is only true if you consume me while eating oysters.  I think I have a mild flavor, which can be compared to a cross between globe artichokes and asparagus.  In either color, you must peel me before eating and my flesh will turn black fast when exposed to fresh air.  To avoid this you can soak me in vinegar or lemon water, or boil me for 15 minutes before peeling.  Do not overcook me or I will get all mushy on you.  Cold I am great shaved into salads.  I blend particularly well with potatoes, leeks, and spinach.  I can be glazed like carrots, used in soups or stews, baked au gratin, braised with veil, or topped with béchamel or cheese sauce.  I am a good source of potassium as well as providing Vitamins B6 and C.  I also contain inulin, a carbohydrate starch replacement that does not affect the level of blood sugar.

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Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015

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